Clapped out but not forgotten

oldgateJeff Broxholme is always looking for interesting aspects of Wychwood life in the past. His most recent find is a photograph of an unusual looking gate which was, until about forty years ago, near Wilcote House, a small hamlet three and half miles north of Witney. Wilcote House is actually in the background of the picture.

The gate, called a clapper gate, is made up of several clappers or wooden staves, which are weighted. Anybody wishing to pass by the gate simply had to push down on the clappers, which then returned to their original position afterwards. Jeff believes the man in the process of using the gate was the gamekeeper to the estate. He also thinks that there is a good chance that the wooden components were shaped by his father when he worked at Eynsham Sawmill.

August – September 2017